High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Today’s report from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies–”Liberty And Security In A Changing World”—is impressive in a number of ways. Importantly, it pushes consideration of the privacy and civil liberties rights of non-U.S. persons into the policy debate. Old-school national security wonks commonly express distain for the idea that the U.S.
Today, the federal District Court for the District of Columbia held that the NSA's bulk telephone metadata collection program under the USA PATRIOT Act violates the 4th Amendment. This is a tremendously important ruling--the first time a public court has had the chance to rule on programs revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Given the program's constitutional infirmities, it is more important than ever that Congress end this misuse of the USA PATRIOT Act. However, Deputy Attorney General James Cole testified earlier this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the NSA might continue its bulk collection of nearly all domestic phone call records, even if Congress does just that. The USA FREEDOM ACT has bipartisan sponsorship from dozens of lawmakers, all of whom agree that the core purpose of the bill is to end NSA dragnet collection of Americans’ communication data. Yet, Cole said that the reform legislation wouldn’t necessarily inhibit the NSA’s surveillance capabilities because “it’s going to depend on how the court interprets any number of the provisions that are in [the legislation].” Comments like this betray a serious problem inside the Executive Branch. The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn’t the rule of law. This is a coup d’etat. Read more.
In the latest news report based on documents revealed by Edward Snowden, we’ve learned that the NSA creates profiles of porn viewing, online sexual activity and more from its vast database of Internet content and transactional data as part of a plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through speeches promoting disfavored—but not necessarily violent—political views.
In a new post over at Just Security, I look at the recently declassified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions on bulk collection of Internet "metadata". These opinions show that, once again, the NSA has conducted illegal spying. The new documents reveal the National Security Agency’s (NSA) systemic violation of rules for domestic collection and use of Internet metadata.
Right now, a battle is underway to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a statute that can transform innocuous workplace behavior into a federal crime, simply because a computer is involved. The CFAA is a bludgeon that Big Business and the Department of Justice have willingly used against the American worker, and its time for that to stop.
The first part of this article outlined the mechanics of the Megaupload website, and the novel questions of criminal inducement on which the government's indictment is premised. Here, we explore two more extensions of existing law on which the indictment is based, and the impact this prosecution is likely to have on Internet innovators and users alike.
Days after anti-piracy legislation stalled in Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice coordinated an unprecedented raid on the Hong Kong-based website Megaupload.com. New Zealand law enforcement agents swooped in by helicopter to arrest founder Kim Dotcom at his home outside of Auckland, and seized millions of dollars worth of art, vehicles and real estate. Six other Megaupload employees were also arrested. Meanwhile, the Justice Department seized Megaupload's domain names and the data of at least 50 million users worldwide.
"That right also applies to acts that are "testimonial" and have communicative aspects, according to Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.
"And as Jennifer Granick notes in her excellent new book American Spies, executive-branch claims that Section 702 has been vital to preventing terrorist attacks on America are just as specious as previous such claims about the warrantless telephone metadata program that Snowden exposed in 2013.
""It differs in that the victim often wears a fur bikini, but is not otherwise an out-of-the-ordinary dispute over this issue in my opinion," Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, told Ars by e-mail."
"“The anonymous account holder is safe, for now,” said Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. “Perhaps the Department of Justice has learned a lesson. Perhaps the Trump administration may try to find the poster another way, for example by monitoring the government’s INS network.”"
"Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, called the government’s behavior “craven” and described the CBP summons as a “classic case of abuse”.
“For the government, a federal law enforcement officer, to not understand the very basics of protecting free speech and following the rule of law is egregious,” she said.
The American Bar Association White Collar Crime Committee Presents:
The Internet’s Own Boy: A Discussion Of U.S. v. Aaron Swartz And The Prosecution And Defense Of Cyber-Crime
Featuring Brian KNAPPENBERGER, Filmmaker And Director Of The Internet’s Own Boy, Jennifer GRANICK, Director Of Civil Liberties For The Center For Internet And Society At Stanford Law School, And More.
Only LLM and SPILS students are invited.
Lunch will be provided.
Please join Giancarlo Frosio and Jennifer Granick on Tuesday for a presentation on the activities of the Stanford Intermediary Liability Lab (SILLab).
Because of Edward Snowden’s remarkable public service, we know that the National Security Agency, with the cooperation of some large firms, has amassed an unprecedented database of personal information. The ostensible goal in collecting that information is to protect national security. The effect, according to Reed Hundt, is to undermine democracy.
Come meet CIS and hear about our exciting work and ways to get involved.
You will meet:
Barbara van Schewick - Associate Professor of Law and Helen L. Crocker Faculty Scholar at Stanford Law School, Director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, and Associate Professor (by courtesy) of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
Jennifer Granick - Director - Civil Liberties
Aleecia McDonald - Director - Privacy
Synopsis: CODE 2600 documents the rise of the Information Technology Age as told through the events and people who helped build and manipulate it. The film explores the impact this new connectivity has on our ability to remain human while maintaining our personal privacy and security. As we struggle to comprehend the wide-spanning socio-technical fallout causd by data collection and social networks, oru modern culture is caught in an undercurrent of cyber-attacks, identity theft and privacy invasion.